One of the things about being a chronic pain patient that I find the most frustrating is being asked: ” On a scale of 1 – 10, what would you rate your pain?” You want me to what now? I *live* in chronic pain. You expect me to categorize it in a convenient little number for the electronic medical record system (EMS)?! As if chronic health conditions were that simple! HA! Another chronic illness blogger who writes I Tripped Over a Stone (check out her blog), suggested that I write a piece about the pain scale and dialogue to use when being asked to rank pain. She thought my dialogue for working with health professionals about pain was a sound one, so I’m going to share it with you, in the hope that it may help. (Skip to the end if you only want the script) But first! We as patients have to change the way we think and approach
Many of us have to deal with bias in medicine. We’re either female, too fat, too young, too…something, and therefore we’re drug seekers and complainers. Difficult patients. Aubrey Hirsch has a wonderful comic about her experience as a woman looking for care. It can be incredibly difficult for people to be taken seriously in the world of healthcare, but you are not alone. Many people have trouble getting proper diagnoses and it certainly can take years to get answers. It’s far more easy for physicians to gaslight and brush of patients in the face of difficult diagnoses.